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by Vivian Rose, age 15 from the US

Although I'm not a comic-book fan, and certainly not an "X-Men" fan in particular, I found the "X-Men" movie to be entertaining. "X-Men" devotees probably already know the characters: Mutants with strange powers. (The film takes place "sometime in the not-too-distant-future", whatever that's supposed to mean.)

The main characters are Rogue (Anna Paquin), a girl who can suck the life out of someone just by touching him; Wolverine, a guy whose powers should be pretty clear (hint: he has retractable claws); and Storm (Halle Berry) who also explains her name - she creates storms. Patrick Stewart plays the head of a school for mutants. Of course, those are just the good guys. The bad guys are mutants who plan to start a war with mere mortals. The good guys want everything to be nice and peaceful. Guess which side wins?

"X-Men"'s producers did one thing very well: They made a movie that "X-Men" fans and non-fans alike could both enjoy. Often, movies based on a popular series - such as a TV show or comic books- cater only to those who are already devoted fans. Remember "X-Files"? If you weren't a fan of the show, the movie wasn't worth seeing. Fortunately, "X-Men" didn't fall into that trap. "X-Men" isn't realistic or down-to-earth; nor is the plot surprising. The special effects are impressive though. To be honest, I found a lot wrong with this film, but I still liked it. I prefer to judge movies on whether I actually enjoyed them rather than how much I found to criticize, so I have to say that overall, "X-Men" is an entertaining movie.

Rating: PG-13 (for science fiction violent content)